Howard-Garrett

STAFF REPORT

In advance of the election in Franklin on Oct. 22, Franklin Home Page has asked each candidate — whether they have an opponent or not — to answer a series of questions about their candidacy.

The following is the fourth in a series we will publish over the next month. Read the other pieces in our series here.

Howard Garrett, who is running against Clyde Barnhill for an at-large alderman seat, answered the following questions via an email questionnaire:

Have you ever held public office? Whether you have or not, how does that give you an advantage over your opponent?

I haven’t held any public office before. The advantage is I have the opportunity to bring new and innovative ways to solves concerns around the city. As Franklin continues to grow and become more diverse, it’s important to provide a fresh perspective on how to make Franklin a better place to live for everyone.

How is your campaign helping voters learn about you?

Our team is going to neighborhoods across the city to knock on doors and one-one-one conversations about residents’ concerns. Group meet and greets around Franklin also gives voters the opportunity to learn who I am up close and personal.

What would you bring as alderman-at-large that you think your opponent doesn’t?

With no disrespect to my opponent, I have a fresher perspective. I am young, eager, and ready to hear what the residents of Franklin have to say and provide new ideas on resolutions that will continue to push Franklin forward for every single resident within this city. We now have many residents who made intentional choices to move here from other parts of the country, and as someone who made the same choice, I understand their concerns as well as those of lifelong residents.

What is the biggest community issue facing residents of Franklin now, and what would you do to remedy it?

Our biggest issue is growth, which affects our housing market and infrastructure. I will work to ensure that Franklin is continuing to grow with thoughtful planning while we are staying true to our culture and our character. Guaranteeing that our infrastructure is prepared for the growth and also ensuring we find a balance between density, connectivity, and affordability to sustain the growth is crucial.

Franklin is facing a lot of issues related to growth. Where do you see the area in 5-10 years and what do you see as your role in that conversation?

As Franklin continues to grow, I hope our city can fully embrace its culture in being a diverse city. There are many walks of life that are moving and already living here, and I want Franklin to provide a way of life that is equitable for every single resident. I want every person to feel as if they belong in the city that they call home and carry that pride deep in their heart. I want Franklin to provide resources to individuals to better themselves and for their families. I want Franklin to have a homeless shelter where we provide our homeless population a place where they can lay their head and have a meal. I want Franklin to grow together, leaving no one behind. I plan on being the voice of all the people, ensuring that we are growing together and finding solutions to the problems that are currently facing the city of Franklin.

If a voter asked, “Why should I vote for you?,” what would be your response?

I am here for Franklin! I want to share the love that my family sowed into me throughout the community. I want to help the homeless and provide a shelter and resources, I want to provide resources for the underprivileged, so they can better themselves and for their family. I want Franklin to continue to grow but grow thoughtfully. I want to hear the concerns of residents, but most importantly I want to inspire every young individual that they can be whoever God has called them to be. Nothing is impossible, when you put God first and stand for what is right!

What made you run for this position?

After moving to Franklin and being involved throughout the city, I saw all residents weren’t being represented. Even though our current Aldermen have generally done a good job, some of our residents are being left out. I believe our leadership should reflect the residents they are serve, in order to be more effective and gain trust as community leaders. There are also issues that need more work and I will fight for them, including Attainable/Workforce Housing, a major issue in Franklin. We have teachers, firefighters, police officers, and city employees driving 30-45 mins to get to work because they aren’t able to afford to live here.

We need to provide the opportunity to have a diverse housing market for anyone who wants to live in the city in which they work. I’m also passionate about growth and infrastructure. Our rapid growth is leaving many long-time residents behind. I am fighting for a Franklin where we can grow together, and everyone has the opportunity to take pride in a city they call home. A diverse community makes a great community!